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Student-Athlete Summer Blog: Maggie Skjelbred #4

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After seeing the U-23 Beach Volleyball World Championship, I took a bus from Katowice to Rzeszow to meet with the National team. Even though I have traveled a lot, I was nervous about traveling in Poland because no one speaks English. I was really lucky and found some Australian girls that were taking the same bus and knew where to go. On the bus the ticket man wouldn't let me buy a ticket at first because I couldn't pronounce Rzeszow correctly. After saying the city's name incorrectly about six times, a lady behind me understood what I was trying to pronounce and I finally got a ticket.

When I got to Rzeszow I got picked up by my coach. We drove about 20 minutes to Kielnarowa Sportssenter, where we were going to spend our camp.


After seeing the U-23 Beach Volleyball World Championship, I took a bus from Katowice to Rzeszow to meet with the National team. Even though I have traveled a lot, I was nervous about traveling in Poland because no one speaks English. I was really lucky and found some Australian girls that were taking the same bus and knew where to go. On the bus the ticket man wouldn't let me buy a ticket at first because I couldn't pronounce Rzeszow correctly. After saying the city's name incorrectly about six times, a lady behind me understood what I was trying to pronounce and I finally got a ticket.

When I got to Rzeszow I got picked up by my coach. We drove about 20 minutes to Kielnarowa Sportssenter, where we were going to spend our camp.

Kielnarowa Sportssenter is originally a sports university, but it also has a restaurant that is used as a venue for weddings and other parties. It has two hotels/apartment houses where sports teams live when they visit. The Sportssenter also has a big gym with classrooms, weight room and a spa. Outside of the gym there is also a basketball court and beach volleyball court.

We started practice the next day at 9:00 a.m. It was fun because we had a lot of different ball-handling drills where everyone got a lot of touches. After two hours with volleyball we had lifting. We were able to use our own personal program, so I used the one GW Strength and Conditioning Coach Paul Berry had developed for the volleyball team's summer workout. Later in the day, we had more side-out drills and practiced game situations.

The days have been pretty much the same; eat-practice-eat-practice-sleep. So basically it is very similar to GW's preseason. In between practices we are able to just relax in our rooms or lay a little bit out in the sun. At this time the world league is on TV, so we have been watching big volleyball nations like Poland, Brazil and Italy.

On Tuesday we had our first match. We played against a 1st-division team located in Rzeszow. We played in a small gym and had a small crowd of people watching from the sideline. The match was also broadcast on the radio! The competition was really good and we were able to work on what we wanted. The game was even, but we ended up winning, 3-2 (20-25,25-12, 22-25, 25-18 and 15-13). I got to play the first set, second set and half of the third set. It was a lot of fun playing at that level. However, it is weird being an outside hitter again and passing regularly.

Here are some pictures of the game!

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Team photo before our first match! I am wearing #13.


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Team huddle after scoring a point


The next few days we will play more matches and practice every day before we leave on Saturday for Russia. The tournament in Russia will span over 18 days. So until next time, Raise High!

Best, 
Maggie


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